My son Grayson is obsessed with Disney/Pixar Cars. Like, seriously obsessed. He introduces himself to others as “Lightning McQueen,” and if he’s feeling particularly sassy, he’ll throw in a “Ka-Chow!” Luckily for the rest of the people in the family, Cars is a very enjoyable movie (for kids and adults), so the fact that it has regular rotation on our Blu-Ray player is not too bad.
When it came time to plan Grayson’s third birthday party, I knew it had to be special. Not only does he have more friends his own age that can participate, but he also has much more awareness of what’s going on (unlike a first birthday party, which is really more for the friends of the parents than anyone else). I have him the option for a Cars or a Toy Story (another favorite of his) party, and of course, he went with Cars. To see his jungle-themed first birthday party, click here. To see his ice cream social second birthday party, click here.
As with everything we do, we wanted to make this party our own, and not full of pre-packaged licensed products. This meant a lot of DIY. Fortunately, I planned this party in the age of Pinterest, where I found a ton of inspiration. Click here to see my planning inspiration board for Grayson’s Cars themed birthday party.
First, we needed a personalized invitation. I went with this one found on Etsy from MistyPrints. For printing, I went with a new favorite printer, UPrinting. This is the cheapest online printer that still does good quality work, and with a quick turnaround. Here’s how ours turned out:
And now, for the details!
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What Cars party is complete without a Cars themed playlist? There are hundreds of options out there, so it took some time to narrow it down to these top picks:
Cars Party Playlist:
- Pink Cadillac (Bruce Springsteen)
- Drive My Car (Paul McCartney)
- Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)
- Roadhouse Blues (The Doors)
- Take it Easy (The Eagles)
- Guitars, Cadillacs (Dwight Yoakam)
- The Distance (CAKE)
- Running on Empty (Jackson Browne)
- Life is a Highway (Rascal Flatts)
- Little Red Corvette (Prince)
- Slow Ride (Foghat)
- Hot Rod Girl (Brian Setzer)
- 409 (The Beach Boys)
- Fun, Fun, Fun (The Beach Boys)
- Route 66 (Chuck Berry)
- Life in the Fast Lane (The Eagles)
- The Little Old Lady from Pasadena (Jan & Dean)
- Greased Lightnin’ (John Travolta/Grease Soundtrack)
- Little Deuce Couple (The Beach Boys)
- Low Rider (War)
- Up Around the Bend (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
- I’m In Love With My Car (Queen)
- Beep (Playmates)
- On The Road Again (Willie Nelson)
- Sh-Boom (The Chords) – a must for a Disney/Pixar Cars themed party!
- So Wonderful, So Marvelous (printable Cars themed signs)
- Carstyling.ru (printable that I used for the cupcake toppers)
- Party City (tablecloths, utensils, bulk Cars favors, favor bags, other misc. items)
- BirthdayDirect.com (checkered items, including checkered flag picks)
- Oriental Trading (checkered flags)
- Amazon (bean bags for Maters Tire Toss, bulk die-cast race cars for table settings)
- ThePartyWorks.com (favors, temporary tattoos for Ramone’s House of Body Art, prizes)
- Used tires for the centerpieces, Mater’s Tire Toss, and Luigi’s Casa Della Tires found for free at a place here locally where shops dispose of used tires.
Reminder: This post contains some affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the link.
I hope that you find some inspiration with these! Next party I’ll cover will be my son Sawyer’s Rock n’ Roll themed first birthday party. Stay tuned!!